Roman & Williams Opens Guild Gallery in New York, and Other News

Our daily look at the world through the lens of design.

Guild Gallery. Photography by Adrian Gaut

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Roman & Williams Opens Guild Gallery in New York

For years the founders behind the New York–based design firm Roman & Williams, Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, have captivated the hospitality world with their sumptuous narrative-driven interiors that pair textural materials with a sense of place. When the RW Guild showroom opened in SoHo, in 2017, the duo combined their rarefied taste for decoration with the experience they’ve gleaned from decades of conceptualizing some of the world’s most revered restaurants and hotels: Le Coucou, Veronika, NoMad London, and more. 

Now comes Guild Gallery, the next expression of the Roman & Williams universe. Fans can expect a meticulous curation of ceramics, sculptures, and artworks from past collaborators that hew toward collectible design and decoration over furniture and homewares. The opening show, titled Container and Content, features the work of Akiko Hirai. It’s the ceramicist’s first solo exhibition in the United States and showcases the 2019 Loewe Craft Prize finalist’s handmade objects inspired by her childhood in Japan.  

Infinitus China headquarters. Photography by Liang Xue

Zaha Hadid Architects fashions an infinity-shaped headquarters for Infinitus China.

Layered with a series of infinity rings that rise up eight stories, the British firm has unveiled a meandering global base for Infinitus that ups the sustainability ante. Made using 25 tons of recyclable materials, the project houses the research group’s herbal medicine research faculties, safety assessment spaces, and new workspaces alongside wellness amenities nestled within connecting bridges. The multipurpose design acts as an extension of Infinitus’ brand ethos that focuses on creativity and overall social well-being. 

The Standard Hotel in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District faces potential foreclosure.

Founded by André Balazs, the 338-room hotel has etched itself into New York’s party scene, beloved by A-list celebrities and club kids alike. In 2017, Hong Kong–based private equity firm Gaw Capital acquired the property for a below-market rate of $340 million with a $170 million acquisition loan from French investment bank Natixis. The mortgage, however, was halted by Gaw this past May after the pandemic wreaked financial havoc on the hospitality market. The group now faces a federal lawsuit filed by Wells Fargo on behalf of the lender.

Acne Paper Magazine

Swedish label Acne Studios has relaunched Acne Paper after a seven-year hiatus.

Launched in 2005 with a focus on fashion, art, culture, and literature, the renowned Swedish label is taking a political turn as it revives its print publication that doubles as a coffee table book. Consisting of 500 pages from 35 creative contributors, Acne’s new thematic outlook on global affairs aims to attract a wider audience. With founding editor Thomas Persson in the power seat, Acne justifies its costly production with a simple yet poignant message: it’s a labor of love. “Sometimes doing things you really love is an underrated business strategy,” says chief executive Mattias Magnusson. “If you do something you truly love, chances are someone else will also love it. And that’s a pretty good foundation to start from.”

Moncler taps ex-Apple designer Jony Ive for a cryptic collab rooted in sustainability.

On the heels of a year full of successful partnerships through its Genius program and external labels, the Italian fashion house has turned to the enigmatic LoveFrom co-founder for a product rumored to be eco-friendly—a topic that resonates with both Moncler chief executive Remo Ruffini and Ive. The tight-lipped partnership remains mostly ambiguous, which seems like a surprising twist given Moncler’s penchant for transparency in the brand’s annual report that detailed its sustainability efforts and mission to be carbon-neutral by the end of the year.

Shenzhen Zhongshuge by X + Living

X+Living unveils another Infinity Room–like bookstore that distorts perceptions. 

The Shanghai design firm unveils its latest spiraling bookstore for Chinese chain Zhongshuge that takes inspiration from the words of Russian author Maxim Gorky: “Books are the ladder of human progress.” Located in Shenzhen, the 21,800-square-foot shop features a “concept” area that contains a giant glass-and-steel shelving unit spiraling on its side and offers a metaphorical passage through history and literature. “In the process of researching the cultural background of this city, I realized that I could design a space which could become a symbol of Shenzhen itself as an inclusive and vibrant city of migrants, paying tribute to all those who have struggled to make history in this city,” says X+Living founder Li Xiang.

Arthur Mamou-Mani debuts a climate-oriented exhibition at London’s Design Museum.

Coinciding with the institution’s Waste Age exhibition, Mani has partnered with French design software brand Dassault Systèmes to unveil Aurora—a 3D-printed architectural installation that studies the dynamic between waste and design. “Aurora is using bioplastic made from fermented sugar called PLA,” Mani says. “It’s about 80 percent more efficient than petroleum-based plastic. We’re trying to show the full life cycle of materials from where they come from, to where they go.” On view until November 14, the floating display speaks to the need for circularity and provides a blueprint for products that can be recycled and repurposed.

Daniel Lee announces he will depart Bottega Veneta after three years at the helm. 

Enlisted as the Italian house’s creative director in 2018, the British designer ushered in a meteoritic rise in popularity partially thanks to unconventional marketing strategies, such as eliminating the brand’s social media presence. Having placed Bottega in the fashion limelight in a little over three years, Lee’s unexpected exit has left the industry anticipating his next move while the house reconfigures its creative organization. “My time at Bottega Veneta has been an incredible experience. I am grateful to have worked with an exceptional and talented team and I am forever thankful to everyone who was part of creating our vision,” says Lee, who thanked Francois-Henri Pinault for letting him “be a part of Bottega Veneta’s story.” 

BMW i Vision Circular concept car

Today’s attractive distractions:

Now’s your chance to own a tricked-out minifridge that uncannily resembles an Xbox.

Parts of BMW’s latest concept car are designed to “fall apart” at the push of a button.

Due to the ongoing labor shortage, Santa Claus may not be coming to town after all. 

This ancient amethyst ring found in Israel may have been worn to ward off hangovers.

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